The result is a beautiful, heartbreaking portrait. Davis’ own dialogues—which capture Basquiat’s boyish charm and easy smile in closely cropped frames—are interspersed with other interviews, films, and photographs of the artist and his work (including a great clip of him walking in a Comme Des Garcons runway show). Thanks to Davis’ fascinating documentary, the record of Basquiat’s life is a bit more complete, but as far as the filmmaker is concerned, she says the piece is really “a love letter from me to Jean.”
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is showing at Film Forum through Aug. 3. Davis’ entire transcript is part of a traveling exhibition, called Basquiat, currently in Basel, Switzerland.
—Julianne De La Torre
Photo: Basquiat, courtesy of Lee Jaffe